Racing For Pod People

ALL THOSE EARLY ADOPTERS who bought an MMX-equipped PC or upgrade have a game to show off their investment: Ubi Soft's Pod ($49.95; 800-824-7638). It sets the standard for Windows racing games by increasing the display rate from the normal 18 frames per second to 32 (up to 70 with the 3Dfx graphics accelerator board). The result is that distant objects don't just pop up unrealistically; instead, they appear smoothly and cleanly. The elegant design includes lighting effects like lens flare and shadows cast by clouds passing overhead, and the Dolby Surround Sound makes you feel like you're actually behind the wheel. Pod runs on both Pentium and MMX machines, and it's networked for Internet play, so download the free trial version ( and take it for a spin.